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Interviewing Diamond D Johnson

Where did you get the love of books/ storytelling/ reading/ writing etc. come from?

DJD: I’ve always been a great writer. Back in 3rd grade, I received my first big compliment from my teacher, Ms. Mears, telling me how good of a writer I was. At the time, I didn’t have any big plans of ever becoming an author because just like most kids my age, I was kind of just going with the flow, and at the time, I was a cheerleader, so that was pretty much the only thing that was important to me. I didn’t get heavy into reading until I was in the 8th grade. The first urban fiction book that I read was titled Money, Power, Respect by Erick S. Gray. It’s funny because at the time, I didn’t know what that genre of writing was. I just knew that I loved the books with the graphic scenes, curse words, and drama. From there, my love of reading just expanded, and I made a promise to myself that by my sophomore year in college, I would take a chance, and write my first book, and I did just that.

Any author(s) that you feel influenced your writing?

DJD: My answer to this question will always remain the same, which is Wahida Clark. There was something about that ‘Thug series’ that just enticed me from the second I got my hands on it. I loved her style of writing, along with how she kind of just drew you in. In my head, Tasha, Angel, Kyra, and Jaz are all my home girls in real life. Being able to relate to the characters and feel like I’m a part of the family dynamic is such a key core. That’s always been my goal with each book because that’s how Wahida Clark made me feel, and I wanted my readers to have the same connection. I know that I did my part when I have my readers reach out to me, and they swear that they’re the wives of my men characters and their best friends or cousins with my female characters.

Name 3 authors you’d like to collaborate with.

DJD: Whoever I choose to collaborate with, they would somewhat have to match my writing style because the book would have to flow, and I wouldn’t want the readers to be able to decipher which author wrote what part. All and all, if I had to choose, I would say Wahida Clark of course, Shvonne Latrice, and Lucinda John. All are female hustlers in the industry, that has a love for writing, just as much as I do, and I know that if I were to work alongside these women, I would be inspired, and more determined.

What are your top 3 favorite books of all time?-DJD: Wahida Clark Every Thug Needs A Lady

Ivory B It Is What It Is

Shavon Moore Baby Girl

How do you research for your books?

DJD: First, I like to check Amazon, and make sure that the title that I came up with isn’t taken already. Once that checks out, I then head to iStock, where I look for pictures, so that I can come up with a theme for my cover. I’ll then send it over to my designer,and he’ll in turn work the magic. Shout out to Michael Corvin for understanding the assignment each time that I need him for a book cover. From there, I have to study whatever main topics that I’ll be talking about. Although I write urban fiction, I tend to focus on a lot of important real live events that people deal with. I talk about Std’s, sicknesses such as cancer, lupus. I’ve talked about domestic abuse, suicide, rape, and other topics that are hard to speak on, but it’s real life, and I know that talking about these things can be inspiring to others and help them overcome whatever it is that they're dealing with. Research is important because you never want to deliver the wrong kind of information to your readers because you just never know who’s reading.

What is your work schedule when your writing?

DJD: My work schedule is kind of right to the point. For years, I was 10,000 words a day kind of girl, but since having my daughter, and making a name for myself in this industry, I feel like I no longer have to burn myself out like that anymore. I’ve since then cut my work schedule down to 7,000 words a day. I’m a full-time author, and I dedicate my weekdays to writing. In the morning, I’ll complete my first 5,000 words, while I have the house to myself, with my daughter in school. At night, when she goes to sleep, I’ll complete the last 2,000 words. It’s very rare that I’ll write on the weekends. The only time I’ll write on the weekends is if I’m playing catch up if I missed my word count during the week, or if the characters are inside my head, talking, and I just have to get some writing in.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

DJD: “Don’t hold back”. Earlier in my writing career, when I first started at 19, I feel like I played it safe. There were so many topics that I wanted to speak on, but I had fears of not telling the story the right way, and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel as if I was making a mockery out of a subject that I’d decided to speak on, that they might have been dealing with. For example, I remember when I came up with the storyline for Little Miami Girl. That was a phase in my life, where I felt like I was finding myself as an author. I was learning what it was that I was going to bring to the table, that stood out from every other author. I knew I wanted to have that book be based on a teenage girl, named Antonia, that had experienced rape, mental and verbal abuse by her aunt that raised her, bullying in school, amongst other challenges that a lot of teenagers had to go through. “Am I the right person to deliver this story?” is something that I battled with when it came to that story line. I do think I held back on that book, not wanting to get too in depth on certain subjects, but here it is, nine years later, and that book is a true gem in the Urban fiction industry. A lot of my readers still compliment me on that book till this day. From there, I learned that I had the gift of telling a great story and pulling on my readers heart strings. Along the way, learning to not doubt myself, and give it my all.

Which one of your books is your favorites?

DJD: I’m asked this question a lot, and with over 100 books to my name, it’s so hard to answer that. Majority of the time, my answer to that question is Little Miami Girl because that book set the bar for me in this industry, gained me a lot of readers, and it changed my life for the better. Even with that, I know that I’ve grown so much as an author since I wrote that book. It really just depends on my mood when that question is asked to me. Sometimes, I like to think I’m related to the Diaz family, and I’ll tell you that Daddy’s Gurlz is my favorite book. There are times I’m feeling like Alecia is my auntie, and I’ll think that Straight Outta Dade County is my favorite series. At the end of the day, all of my books are my babies, so in a way, all of them are my favorite.

What are you working on now?

DJD: I’m currently working on part 2 of my latest series, Korporate’s Pleasure. I’m having so much fun writing this book because the main character, Pleasure, is the complete opposite of who I am, so in a way, it’s like I get to live vicariously through her. Pleasure is a retired stripper, married to the biggest boss, biggest king pin out of Miami, named Korporate Strong. Just like any other marriage, it’s being tested, they don’t always agree, but they do what they do to keep the marriage together. I love the way the two of them love each other as well. This book deals with a lot of family secrets, enemies, and so many trials, which is everything that’ll come from an Diamond D. Johnson book because I love a lot of chaos in a book, and in the end, seeing everything unfold so beautifully.

Where can readers find out more about you & your work?

DJD: There are plenty of ways for readers to reach me. My website is _Diiamondddd_Facebook: Author Diamond JohnsonFacebook Group: The tales of a DiamondEmail: are all of the places where I can be contacted. I have real, personal relationships with a lot of my readers. We laugh, talk, and discuss my books together in my inbox, or wherever they decide to reach me, and it’s a relationship that I cherish. I get so many messages from readers, telling me how they use my books as an escape from the real world, how I’ve helped them battle depression, or simply thanking me for telling a certain story. Nine years of being in this industry, and my readers will forever be at the top of the list of what I’m thankful for.

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